October 9-11, 2005 – Munich, Germany
From the top of small hill just outside the site of Amma’s programs in Munich, one could see the entire city spread before them: the stadiums built for the 1972 Summer Olympic games, the steeples of the city’s hundreds of churches, the skyscrapers and industrial buildings, the brown rooftops of row upon row of German-style houses, the central office of Bavarian Motor Works (BMW)… Indeed, looking out at that breathtaking expanse, it seemed as if all of Munich was wrapped around the place where Amma sat giving darshan.
And if Munich seemed to be surrounding Amma’s program site, Amma’s program seemed to be spilling out into Munich, as the warm fall days had many of those who came to experience Amma’s blessing moving outside the confines of the darshan hall and onto the grassy lawns of Olympia Park. Many people could be seen meditating on the hillsides, talking about spiritual topics or chanting the Lalita Sahasranama as they walked around the park’s swan- and geese-filled lakes.
Indeed, taking in the picturesque surroundings, it was easy to feel far removed from the tragic earthquake that had taken place in Pakistan the night before Amma’s Munich programs began. But it was clear that this tragedy was very much on Amma’s mind. Each day Amma was in Munich, she led all those gathered for her darshan in a silent prayer for world peace and harmony, asking them to pray for the peace of all those who had died, as well as for that of their loved ones. Amma’s prayer embraced everyone, not only those who’d died in the earthquake, but also those who had died in all the tragedies of the past year: the tsunami in Southeast Asia, the hurricanes in America, the stampede in Iraq, the floods in India, as well as those dying in wars and terrorist acts….
“The tragedies we are experiencing are not finished,” Amma said. “Nature continues to be angry and agitated. Only the cool, gentle breeze of divine grace can lift the clouds of anger, hatred and revenge. So, let us pray with melting hearts.” Many of Amma’s devotees could be heard commenting how correct Amma had been when she predicted back in 2002 that 2005 would be a Kashta-kaalam, a time of tragedy, for the world.
With these prayers beginning each of the programs, Amma carried on her darshan as usual, sharing the joys and sorrows of her German children as each of them individually came into her arms.
Amma’s Munich programs are always graced with the performance of traditional Bavarian folk-music by her devotees. And this year was no exception. Performing the music as an offering to Amma, the devotees played the traditional instruments–harp, guitar, hack brett and flute–and wore the traditional dress.
There was another unexpected musical performance as well, this one by a group of mentally challenged children from a school in Munich. Nath, a 21-year-old devotee from Halfling, Germany, had taught the children to sing a few simple bhajans, as part of their school’s classes on the cultures of Asia. The children sang versions of “Om Namah Shivaya,” “Amma Amma Taye” and “Om Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu.” It was a beautiful moment that touched everyone in the hall’s heart.